The head of Iraq’s prime minister’s office has offered immunity from trial in connection with the murder of a prominent Christian woman who was allegedly beaten to death.
The move comes after a week of heightened tensions in the country following the arrest and death of the woman’s husband.
The office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Tuesday it has been offered immunity for prosecution in the case and is awaiting its response.
The woman, who was identified only as Khadija, was beaten to a bloody pulp in Baghdad’s central Baquba neighborhood on Sunday and left to die.
Police have arrested four people linked to the killing.
The head of the interior ministry’s office, Mohammad al-Rawi, told The Associated Press he was not aware of the offer and declined to comment further.
In the weeks leading up to her death, Khadijia had sought refuge in the United States and had been trying to reach the United Kingdom.
A video of the murder, which was released by a Christian charity on Tuesday, showed her body bruised and bleeding from her head.
It showed her head sticking out from beneath her clothes and her face covered in blood.
The video shows her husband, Hussein, repeatedly kicking her and beating her, as she screamed for help.
She was attacked repeatedly while she was still in her underwear.
Her attackers, who were all wearing headscarves, ran away.
Khadija had filed a complaint with police in March about her husband’s alleged involvement in the killing and was seeking protection under Iraqi law.
The Iraqi Parliament voted in June to extend her death sentence.
Al-Rawawi said in a video message Tuesday that authorities had received assurances that the offer of immunity would not result in the prosecution of the perpetrators.
He said the offer was made to prevent the killing of innocent Iraqi citizens and Iraqis from fleeing abroad.
He noted that the woman was married to Hussein who had been a prominent religious figure in Iraq for more than 30 years.
He also said the woman did not have any links to the Islamic State militant group.
He also said Iraqi authorities were not involved in the murder.
Iraqi authorities have previously offered immunity to Christian officials in the past, but no one has been prosecuted.